Chapter 5

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"I have asked you something Anahita. ANSWER ME!" Mr. Maurya roared making her flinch. All the courage seeped out of her and dissipated, she was left with her quivering self only. Anahita bounced back in fear and sobbed.

"Dad, I'm sorry. Dad please don't be angry. I was naive to not listen to you, dad I'm-Please forgive me." She wasn't meant to cry, sobbing occasionally but she was guilty to hurt him. Steeling herself, she hugged Mr. Maurya but he didn't. Disappointment in his eyes slayed her painfully.

"Were you running away?" He looked at her, his eyes were blank. His hands didn't curl around her frame.

Yes!! It's a simple one word answer to give but she couldn't speak when tears stung in her father's eyes. Something bit hard, ached deep in her heart. She lowered her head, worshipping his feet. Silent tears streamed down her eyes.

"Answer me Anahita!" And this time, she knew she was going to lose her family. Still looking down, she nodded. Silence again draped them and no sooner than that she felt a sting on her cheek and the force landed her on floor; it was the impact of thunder lightening slap bestowed by her mother.

"Why didn't you die the day I gave you birth?" Mrs. Maurya knelt on the ground and cried. Anahita rubbed her stinging cheek and trembled. Her eyes found her father who was staring at her with inexplicable gaze. Despite everything, she was highly ashamed and guilty.

"Alka! I think you should call off this wedding because who knows what had she done when she ran away with that guy?" Anahita's aunt commented scornfully, hugging her mother and casted a disgusting look on her as if she were a piece of shit.

"Yes. If she can run with her lover, it's not difficult for her to sleep with him vahini." Another one spit venom against Anahita, shamelessly disrobing her before her parents. Shocked, Anahita looked at them. Never in her nightmares she'd thought her aunts to talk shit. Just because she chose her happiness and ran away with her boyfriend, it didn't mean she was characterless and would sleep with him.

The blanched face of her parents and their taciturnity pinged that perhaps they were into the lies. What else have I expected? They always preferred everyone else over me. No matter what would I say he wouldn't believe me. It was useless to waste words when no one needed my explanation. I was characterless, granted. She remained silent letting them profane her.

"She never cared about family and our respect. Short dresses, late night parties..." Anahita curled her fist as her paternal aunt continued pointing out her lifestyle.

Does late night parties means one is characterless? Does short dresses mean one is sleeping around? She reckoned bitterly.

She again looked at her parents. They were ashamed. Their dropping head and lowered eyes showed that they clearly despised her.

"Enough!" Anahita bawled, standing up. If her parents were not going to silence the accusing words then she would. "How can you stigmatized my character just because I ran with my boyfriend. Will you please ask me why did I do that?"

Ignoring impugn glares of her Aunt, she snarled. "If dad had accepted him, no actually leave accepting.. If dad had at least consider meeting him once for my sake, I would not have to do this."

"Shut up Anahita, I don't want to hear a word from you." Mr. Maurya yelled and raised his hand on her, making her shudder. She sobbed at her father's gruffness. He was still not understanding, he was not caring why did she do that! He still didn't want to listen to her and that all made Mukund right in her eyes.

"Dheeraj, come along. We have to solve this issue with Chaitanya." Mr. Maurya ordered his brother and left the house. Numb, Anahita stood rooted to the ground but 'Good for a girl like her' comment made by her aunt, did it. She grabbed the jug and emptied it whole on Aunt's head. Her aunt's surprised screech fed her inner beast.

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